“Not just for hard-core Queen fans, but for everyone who hums along when the radio plays Bicycle Race.” – Broadway World
Erica Gallup previews the musical by Ben Elton and Queen
The Northern Jubilee Auditorium is hosting the launch of the We Will Rock You revival tour, based on Ben Elton’s book, on December 30 and 31, 2019. Since its 2002 debut, this production has rocked over 15 million theatre lovers, and promises, once again, to do Queen’s legacy justice.
As a Queen fan, I’m thrilled that this production includes over 24 of the beloved band’s greatest hits, which will be integrated into the dystopian storyline.
The jukebox musical follows Galileo and Scaramouche, who are two rebels on iPlanet, as they run from the Killer Queen’s police and army of Ga Ga Kids in search of an instrument that will set them free from their instrument-banned world. Determined to Rock, these two join up with other rebels that share their passion for music to fight the fight of their life for their individual expression.
This was Ben Elton’s first pop song compilation musical, and it won the 2003 Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best New Musical and Olivier Award.
Elton’s other pop culture musical, Tonight’s the Night, is based on the songs of Rod Stewart, but he has also collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber for two other musicals: The Beautiful Game and Love Never Dies. The rest of his work spans a range of mediums, from stage productions to novels to radio shows, and he’s won awards in several of these areas. One of his most prestigious awards was an Honorary Rose for lifetime achievement at the Rose d’Or Festival.
Galileo, one of the two lead rebels, is played by Canadian actor Trevor Coll, who grew up on the musical. He admits in a BUILD interview that the soundtrack basically “taught [him] how to sing” along with other rock musicals such as RENT. He’s best known for his roles in My Babysitter’s a Vampire, The Listener and Baxter, but he’s ecstatic about living his childhood dream of performing in this musical.
Scaramouche is played by another Canadian actor, Keri Kelly. On BUILD, she admits to not knowing about the musical prior to her friend’s message about the casting call, but says she quickly fell in love with the soundtrack after listening through it. “I really want[ed] it,” she said, and was over the moon when she landed the role. Kelly is previously known for her role in Blue City.
Later in the interview, Coll and Kelly talk about Stuart Morley, the music supervisor of the revamped version of the musical. They say that the musical has a new score and Morley flew all the way from London to explain the new harmonies and intimately look at each line with them individually. The music is played with a nine-piece live band, and under Morley’s direction, has grown into an ensemble that is sure to rock your socks off.
If you are thinking of attending, there are a few other things you may want to consider.
Ticket prices range from $85 to upwards of $400; but with the Jubilee’s seating arrangement, I’m sure you can enjoy the show from wherever you end up sitting.
The recommended age to attend this performance is ten years and older. Rock music can get loud at times, and with the strobe lights and few mature scenes, the musical may not be suitable for all viewers.
Other than that, if you love rock and want to travel through Elton’s future dystopia, get your tickets soon!